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5 best self-defense tips for Triad area college students

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5 best self-defense tips for Triad area college students

College is starting back soon, and for many of you this is the first time that your kids will be living virtually on their own.  It’s an exciting time, but also a dangerous one.  According to statistics from RAINN, undergraduate students (26.4% of females and 6.8% of males) experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation.  While there is no magic formula for avoiding and surviving sexual assaults, there are some things you can do to increase your capacity for safety.  Below are 5 self-defense hacks that I have shared with college students in seminars over the past dozen years.  Please share them with your kids or any young people you know.  Not trying to sound over dramatic here, but it could be the difference between life and death.

 

1. Become a more physically capable human.  The college experience is a very sedentary existence with hours and hours of studying.  That, combined with access to terrible quality food can easily lead to the dreaded “Freshman 15”.  It doesn’t have to be that way.  College campuses possess world class athletic facilities.  Spend a few hours a week getting stronger through weight training, and work on your speed at the campus track.  Running is only a viable self-defense option if you can outrun an attacker, so work on it.  

2. Avoid being distracted by technology.  We live in the most distracted society that has ever existed.  Phones, tablets, social media, etc.  It’s not uncommon to roam a college campus and see people completely oblivious to what’s going on around them.  They are litereally glued to their phone.  Leave the Tik Tok and the Twitter feeds alone until you get back to your living quarters.  Self-defense techniques are great, but situational awareness is greater.

 

3.  Be careful of what you post on social media.  Be careful who you add to social media.  It’s not uncommon for predators to use social media to plan out attacks, and all too often victims offer up breadcrumbs that make them susceptible to attacks.  For example, when going out, do not post where you are going, where you live, how many drinks you may have had, etc.  You’re basically just telling a possible attacker “come and get me, I’ll be home soon and I’ll be an easy target”.  Save posting your shenanigans on social media until the next day in a photo dump.  Trust me, it will not drastically affect anyone’s life if you wait until the following day.

4. Make sure to let someone know where you are going and when you’re coming back.  This is a hard one, as college age folks are experience their first taste of freedom and don’t want anyone keeping tabs on them.  Understandable, but it’s worth swallowing a bit of pride here.  Let a friend or roommate know where you’re going to be, who you are going with, and an estimated time of return. 

 

5. Look for improvised weapons wherever you are.  As an instructor, I always get asked “what if my attacker is bigger and stronger than me”.  It’s a guaranteed fact they will be, that’s just the nature of predators, they look for easier targets.  But you can increase your fighting ability by using improvised weapons.  As a homework assignment, when you go somewhere, locate 5 everyday items that could be used as a weapon, and how to use it.  Just looking around my office right now I see plenty: ink pen, chair, broom, a can of Mountain Dew, a bag of change, a charging cord, etc.  The list is endless, and it’s fun to imagine you are Denzel Washington from the “Equalizer” movies

 

If you’d like to set up a small or large group training for self-defense I’m always available.  I have taught seminars for UNCG, High Point University, Greensboro College, Guilford College, and North Carolina A&T.  I can be reached via e-mail at octagongym@hotmail.com


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